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Spreading the Word: Geography, Policy and University Knowledge Diffusion

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  • Sharon Belenzon
  • Mark Schankerman

Abstract

Using new data on citations to university patents and scientific publications, and measures of distance based on Google maps, we study how geography affects university knowledge diffusion. We show that knowledge flows from patents are localized in two respects: they decline sharply with distance up to about 100 miles, and they are strongly constrained by state borders, controlling for distance. While distance also constrains knowledge spillovers from publications, the state border does not. We investigate how the strength of the state border effect varies with university and state characteristics. It is larger for patents from public, as compared to private, universities and this is partly explained by the local development policies of universities. The border effect is larger in states with stronger non-compete laws that affect intra-state labor mobility, and those with greater reliance on in-state educated scientists and engineers. We confirm the impact of non-compete statutes by studying a policy reform in Michigan that introduced such restrictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Sharon Belenzon & Mark Schankerman, 2010. "Spreading the Word: Geography, Policy and University Knowledge Diffusion," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 50, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stieip:50
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    File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/ei/ei50.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Autant-Bernard, Corinne & Fadairo, Muriel & Massard, Nadine, 2013. "Knowledge diffusion and innovation policies within the European regions: Challenges based on recent empirical evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 196-210.
    2. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2011. "The Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge across Time and Space: Evidence from Professional Transitions for the Superstars of Medicine," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 107-155 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sergey Lychagin & Joris Pinkse & Margaret E. Slade & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Spillovers in Space: Does Geography Matter?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 295-335, June.
    4. Buenstorf, Guido & Schacht, Alexander, 2013. "We need to talk – or do we? Geographic distance and the commercialization of technologies from public research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 465-480.
    5. Wipo, 2011. "World Intellectual Property Report 2011- The Changing Face of Innovation," WIPO Economics & Statistics Series, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, number 2011:944, October.
    6. Guido Bünstorf & Christoph Engel & Sven Fischer & Werner Güth, 2013. "Win Shift Lose Stay - An Experimental Test of Non-Compete Clauses," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-038, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    7. Crescenzi, Riccardo & Rodriguez-Pose, Andres, 2012. "R&D, Socio-Economic Conditions and Regional Innovation in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 9265, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Riccardo Crescenzi & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2013. "R&D, Socio-Economic Conditions, and Regional Innovation in the U.S," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 287-320, June.
    9. Stefan Wagner & Karin Hoisl & Grid Thoma, 2014. "Overcoming localization of knowledge — the role of professional service firms," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(11), pages 1671-1688, November.
    10. Lee, Yoo Hwan & Graff, Gregory D., 2016. "Academic Knowledge Spillovers and the Role of Geographic Proximity in Regional Agriculture-related Sectors: The impact of agricultural research at Colorado State University on the Colorado economy, an," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235717, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Naomi Hausman, 2012. "University Innovation, Local Economic Growth, and Entrepreneurship," Working Papers 12-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    knowledge spillovers; diffusion; geography; university technology transfer; patents; scientific publications;

    JEL classification:

    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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